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Diablo Dish: June

New cafés are all the craze, with Main St. Kitchen serving Walnut Creek and The Hideout Kitchen and Cafe now open in Lafayette. Plus, Dana’s, a new upscale grill, comes to Danville.


Photo by Hermine O. Yelp.com

Springtime brought plenty of new restaurants to the East Bay. A little eatery called Main St. Kitchen arrived in downtown Walnut Creek in the space of the former Breads of India. It serves a daily changing menu of California fresh cuisine. Spring offerings include line-caught swordfish served over a seasonal salad of fava beans, English peas, and watermelon radish. Owners Lauren and Arash Ghasemi also run the breakfast and lunch favorite Café 15 in Oakland.

Also downtown, the charming 54 Mint Il Forno reopened on Locust Street, after a front-of-house remodel and the arrival of a high-tech pizza oven from Italy. Forno will now be serving blistered-crust Roman-style pizza, deep-fried pizza, and stuffed pizza, along with its lineup of Italian pastries created by chef-owner Daniele Carsano.

The Hideout Kitchen and Cafe opened in Lafayette, serving lunch and dinner (and brunch on weekends) in the space of the former Giardino. Chef-owner JB Balingit was the former executive chef at Jack’s Restaurant and Bar. He describes The Hideout’s food as seasonal California cuisine: Think pulled pork panini with pepper Jack cheese, over-easy egg, and shaved fennel and apple slaw for lunch, or honey-fried chicken with sautéed kale and smashed potatoes for dinner.

Two newsy bits for Danville: Local fave Norm’s Place on Hartz Avenue has undergone a makeover, expanding into the space next door. Look for updated decor and healthy additions to the menu. And Dana’s, an upscale grill serving pastas and old-timey items such as cioppino and a 40-ounce rib eye (to share, of course), opened in the former Martini Sky space. Owner Rajan Jain also owns and runs Luna Loca in the Livery.

In Oakland, the dining scene continues to grow. Grange Hall Eatery and Cocktail Bar and Nick and Aron’s opened recently in Temescal, and this month, we expect the much-discussed 150-seat Calavera to open in Uptown Oakland, in the Hive project. Owners Chris Pastena, Jessica Sackler, and Michael Iglesias announced that the executive chef will be Christian Irabien, a Mexico-born talent who has cooked with famed Spanish chef José Andrés. And Newberry Market and Deli, an upscale marketplace that will anchor the bottom floor of the Sears building on Telegraph, was also announced for Uptown Oakland.

Closings: We say good-bye to Gelateria Naia in Walnut Creek, and in Moraga, Shish Kabab Show will be replaced by a new restaurant named Graze.

Two new grocery stores at the corner of Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley are on their way, if a bit behind schedule. A new Safeway will open in The Orchards in August 2016. Across the street at Encina Grande, the old Safeway will close, and a Whole Foods is scheduled to open in October 2016.

In Dublin, a new Whole Foods was slated to open in late May in the new Persimmon Place. Over the course of the summer, we’ll see a handful of new restaurant openings, including: Patxi’s Pizza, Urban Plates, Pacific Catch, Vitality Bowls, The Habit Burger Grill, Chipotle, and Yalla Mediterranean.

Got Dish? E-mail us at dish@maildiablo.com. Follow us online at diablomag.com/dish, or on Twitter @diablodish.

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